New Sandpoint Crisis Line… Story By: Harry Henderson
Sandpoint has a new crisis line that will be open after hours and is available when the current crisis line is closed. It will be open from 5pm to 8am and will be staffed by licensed Idaho mental health clinicians. The health clinicians will earn minimum wage and will work in 15 hour shifts answering phone calls. The North Idaho Crisis Services after hour line opens Friday, January 15th, 2016. The crisis line has enough funding to go on for about another nine months thanks to the partnership that NAMI Far North made with Bonner’s Partners in Care Clinic, the group is seeking donations to reach their 20,000 goal. The group asked if the local government would give them funding to keep them going, but there has been no response.
Catherine Perusse, crisis director for National Alliance for Mental Illness Far North wants the crisis line to be a place that people can call anytime and someone can be there to prevent a crisis before it gets out of control. She says that the crisis line can help with calls to the hospital or 911. Perusse said that there is a major lack of resources in the area and the crisis line’s goal is to show data that proves the town desperately needs resources.
A few Forrest Bird Charter School students agree they should make their money strictly through donation and corporate funding, and that the tax payers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for a crisis line that they might never use. Many of the students that I interviewed liked the idea of an after-hours crisis line if it is going to be beneficial to the community and possibly stop people from doing bad things. The students think that it would be beneficial because it will provide jobs and improve the community, but many of my peers believe that Sandpoint really doesn’t need an after-hours line because there isn’t a lot of crisis in Sandpoint. In all, the students that were interviewed believe that a crisis line is a good idea in that it may help people get through hard points in their lives and it may stop people from doing things that they might regret, also it is good for the town because it will provide jobs for residents, but there might not be a lot of demand for a crisis line in a town that doesn’t have a lot of crisis.